The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Brave New World - Comparative Literature 131  (GenEd ALDG) Fall 2019

Students will live together in Thatcher Hall in the Northeast residential area. 

Read what Fall 2019 instructor Manuela Borzone has to say about this course:

This course is inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

In this RAP course, We will explore contemporary examples of futuristic dystopian societies from around the world, including Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road , Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, Alex Rivera’s film Sleepdealer, Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” and selected Black Mirror episodes, among others.

We will discuss and analyze questions these futuristic societies present for us today such as: where are the limits of data surveillance? Should we revisit certain traditions? How do we build a more just society for everyone? What makes us human? How do we create positive change in the face of grim ecological prospects?

  • Before each class meeting, you have the opportunity to think critically about the reading/video in three ways: argumentative (short response), informative (by linking the readings to current events), or creative (you can become a character from the text, write a poem, or even draw your favorite scene!).
  • Each class is interactive and discussion-based, giving you the opportunity to participate in the creation of a supportive learning community with other students who share your interests.
  • You will practice voicing informed perspectives on many topics in a safe open environment respectful of other people’s backgrounds, perspectives, and lived experiences.
  • You will work on developing and strengthening your college essay writing skills in personalized meetings with the instructor, who will help you throughout the writing process. And, you will practice giving and receiving feedback to your peers in small-groups during essay drafting workshops.

Global Opportunities RAP